Chris Dobey enjoyed a dream start to his debut Premier League Darts campaign by winning Night One of the competition…
Chris Dobey enjoyed a dream start to his debut Premier League Darts campaign by winning Night One of the competition in Belfast.
Just four days on from the landmark Masters triumph which secured him a place in the Premier League, Dobey continued his winning run to scoop the £10,000 bonus at The SSE Arena.
The 32-year-old recorded a hat-trick of wins to get his campaign off to the perfect start, denying reigning champion Michael van Gerwen in a dramatic final.
Dobey, who featured as a Challenger in the 2020 and 2021 editions of the Premier League, opened up with a 6-3 defeat of world number two Peter Wright, before seeing off Nathan Aspinall 6-4 in the Semi-Finals.
A captivating final, which saw Dobey land a 170 checkout in the second leg, went all the way to a deciding leg, with Dobey landing a sensational 160 checkout to pick up maximum points and top the early table.
“I’m living the dream,” said a delighted Dobey. “The 160 checkout had to go because Michael was waiting on 127 and he’s well capable of taking that out.
“Michael has got a great record against me, and it gets in your head but I knew I could do it after beating him on TV for the first time at the European Championship.
“I know what I can do, and right now my confidence is sky high.
“I felt that I deserved my place in the tournament, I didn’t have anything to prove to myself but I think I’ve proved a few people wrong tonight.
“I’m getting a taste of it now and I love it. I want to be here all the time.”
Van Gerwen picks up three league points thanks to victories over Michael Smith – in their first meeting since the World Championship final – and Dimitri Van den Bergh.
The Dutchman averaged 102.4 in a 6-3 success over Smith, before averaging 106 in his 6-4 victory over Van den Bergh.
Semi-finalists Aspinall and Van den Bergh leave Belfast with two points apiece courtesy of Quarter-Final wins over Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton respectively.
A below-par Price averaged just 91.3 in a slow start to the competition, while Clayton was punished for just 22 per cent on the doubles despite averaging 101 in a 6-2 defeat.
The Premier League roadshow heads to the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff next Thursday for Night Two of the competition.
Premier League Darts 2023 Night One Results
Night One – Thursday February 2
The SSE Arena, Belfast
Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-2 Jonny Clayton
Michael Smith 3-6 Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright 3-6 Chris Dobey
Nathan Aspinall 6-4 Gerwyn Price
Michael van Gerwen 6-4 Dimitri van den Bergh
Chris Dobey 6-4 Nathan Aspinall
Chris Dobey 6-5 Michael van Gerwen
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